Wednesday, December 24, 2008


How often is it, when you ask a request of God, that you expect it to be answered according to the way that you think it should be answered? In other words, you only see one way that your request can be answered and if it were to be answered in any other way, you probably would not recognize your answer? Now be honest in your answer to yourself. I am sure that we are told to let our requests be made known unto God and I am also sure that we are to ask, seek, knock and find. But I would like this post to help you expand your vision about how God may answer prayer.

Israel sought a deliverer to free them from the rule of the Romans just as they had all throughout their existence though the oppressor often changed. The Romans were a mighty and iron footed people. Crush the enemy that will not honor Caesar was more than likely the thought of many of the leaders and the military. And when you have an enemy as powerful as the Romans, surely many in Israel were hoping for another Sampson. The desire for an extremely powerful deliverer who had strength and cunning no doubt was the request in prayer of many to God. And when the time was right, God answered that prayer. But the way He went about it would puzzle any of us who would be seeking a deliverer of great strength. In our minds, we would expect Atlas to show up and defeat our enemy immediately before our eyes.

But God's ways are not hindered by our limited vision. And I am thankful for God who can do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could think or ask. Sometimes, I am puzzled by the way that God does answer prayer and might even miss the answer to prayer should I ignore the way that He responds.

Consider the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, was and is their promised deliverer. But God sent their answer as a "fragile" baby. And the fact is, with the exception of a few, a baby was not what was being sought but a deliverer of great strength and might. Little did they recognize the strength and might clothed within the flesh of that little baby. Little did they recognize the answer to their prayers and the royalty from which this baby was ushered. No. They did not recognize their answer because kings are born in palaces, NOT in stables. No. They did not recognize their answer because a warrior is strong and able to take care of himself and NOT need the constant care of a mother. They missed their answer because they only thought they could be delivered as they understood deliverance.

Again, I am aware that not all missed the significance of this humble birth. I am sure that there were those who began to praise God for answering their prayers and watched with expectant eyes, the plan of God unfold. The joy that filled their hearts was overwhelming I am sure. Ah, but those who missed the manner in which God was working are to be pitied. The worry that consumed them, the anger that harassed them and the disappointment that defeated them was their food and drink while those who recognized God's answer enjoyed the food of confidence, peace and hope.

Sometimes, God's answer looks small and feeble and is even able to be missed by human eyesight if one is not careful in his presumptions. My encouragement to you this Christmas Eve and from here forward is that you will notice the humility of the manger and the quietness of Bethlehem and realize that sometimes, God's answer starts small but under the power of His almighty hand, it grows until it accomplishes that for which it was sent. That for which you have been praying may already be before you. Stop at the "manger" in the small city of "Bethlehem" and ponder the working of God. You will be totally amazed at what God can and will do with humble means.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Happy New Year!

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